THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has revised the boundary limits of liquor outlets enabling the shops to be shifted to anywhere in a taluk. This has been done to overcome the obstacles being faced in shifting retail liquor outlets owing to the objections raised by the local bodies. According to government sources, a notification relaxing the boundary restrictions as per the Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules was issued on March 21. The notification used to be issued every year, said sources.
DC had earlier reported that the shifting of liquor outlets subsequent to the Supreme Court directive in about 25 locations was affected due to the objections raised by local bodies. The Kerala State Beverages Corporation had urged the government to take steps to sort it out. The boundary limits of a shop were so far limited to a small area, which is referred to as ‘Eluga.’ Usually it would be within the limits of a local body.
Hence it was not possible to shift a shop beyond that limited area, unless the Eluga was re-notified. This was causing severe inconvenience to the Kerala State Beverages Corporation in shifting a shop in the wake of the Supreme Court directives. At present, in about 25 places, the respective local bodies were not granting clearance for shifting a shop to a new premise. Since the Eluga was notified only to a limited area, it was also not possible to shift the shop to a new location unless the Eluga is re-notified.
To overcome this difficulty, the government decided to expand the Eluga boundary to an entire taluk, instead of a limited area. The government is also planning to review the powers vested with local bodies to grant no-objection-certificate (NOC) to local bodies. Excise department sources said that the local bodies need to be given powers to grant NOC only to private bars and beer parlours. Retail liquor outlets are run by government bodies and hence it is a paradox that local bodies are denying permission for them.